‘Stakeholder’ assistance sought for study effort

       The first of three No Man's Land “stakeholder workshops” will be Monday, June 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. For that purpose, volunteers are being sought to join a special stakeholder committee “to help provide a vision for the corridor,” a press release states
       The release is from Barry Grossman, part of a five-company consultant group, headed by the Felsburg Holt & Ullevig planning and engineering firm, that is calling itself the “Westside Avenue Action Plan Team.”
       In a follow-up interview, he said that the term, “Westside Avenue,” is not necessarily meant to be the new name for the so-called No Man's Land - a 1.5-mile stretch of Colorado/ Manitou Avenue between 31st Street and Manitou's Highway 24 interchange - it's just that the team prefers to have a more positive working title for a study that's aimed at detailing and prioritizing a plan for the area's improvements. Grossman added that looking for a permanent new name will be part of the study, which started in May and will continue through January 2013.
       Using a $300,000 grant to hire the consultant, El Paso County joined with Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs to organize the study.
       A “stakeholder” could be anyone affected by changes to the study area. “Representatives of organizations, business groups, citizens and other constituents in the study area are being sought,” Grossman's release states. “Stakeholders commit to attending three workshops during the study to help shape the future of this segment of West Colorado Avenue and Manitou Avenue.”
       He noted, however, that crime issues are not part of the study.
       The stakeholder meetings (the two others will be this fall and winter) will be open to the general public. Two public open houses will also be scheduled, with one “toward the end of summer” and the other in January, Grossman's release states.
       The release continues: “The West Colorado Avenue/Manitou Avenue arterial supports about 23,000 average daily trips and provides access to about 75 businesses. Stakeholders and citizens will provide input on the best way to address infrastructure improvements such as the lack of sufficient pedestrian and bicycle access, storm water drainage, auxiliary lanes and mobility, access management and street lighting, as well as environmental and historical impacts.”
       Anyone interested in serving as a stakeholder is asked to RSVP to barry@bachmanpr.com.

Westside Pioneer/press release